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January 2018 e-Newsletter

We Are United Way

Reflecting on the 2017 Giving Season

We are thrilled to share that we exceeded our year-end fundraising goal, raising $32,576 for our education programs! We would like to thank the individuals who made a year-end gift and recognize our Matching Gift Sponsor, NRG, for pledging to match all gifts made up to $6,500.

We would also like to thank all of the companies, organizations and individuals who gave donations and/or their time during this past holiday season. You brought smiles to so many children and families across Lake County! To see a full list of donations we received, including photos, click the button below.

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Wine and Learn WLC

Join our WLC on January 25 to Wine & Learn

Our Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) is a group of 95 women who use their time, talent and resources to ensure children living in Lake County’s most vulnerable communities are prepared for kindergarten and ready to succeed. Since 2013, the WLC’s Little Kids, Big Futures Fund has granted $237,000 to worthy early literacy programs in Waukegan, North Chicago, Round Lake and Zion.

Women interested in learning more about membership with the WLC can attend their upcoming Wine & Learn on January 25 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. in Lake Forest. The WLC is looking to expand their group with women who are interested in giving back to the community and having a great time while doing it! To RSVP, contact Janice at janice.scarbalis@uwlakeco.org.

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Reading Tutor

Become a Volunteer Reading Tutor

Our Reading Success Program is designed to improve literacy skills for Waukegan elementary students who are unable to read at grade level. After six months of one-on-one tutoring, 99% of students improved their reading skills and, on average, those within the program showed a 17-point increase on their standardized reading test scores.

We are looking to add more volunteer classroom tutors this year. If you would like to become a reading tutor, all that is needed is an hour a week and a love of reading! We welcome both English and Spanish speaking volunteers. To learn more about the program, click the button below.

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Kindergarten Countdown Camp

Check Out the Results from our Kindergarten Countdown Camps

This past summer, our Success By 6 Program hosted two Kindergarten Countdown Camps (KCC) in the Waukegan and Beach Park communities. At KCC, incoming kindergartners learned the basic skills needed to start school this fall on the right foot. Our Success By 6 Program Manager, Edna Galvan, is proud to share the results from our 2017 Kindergarten Countdown Camps.

Read the results by clicking below.

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Tax Season

Tips for the Tax Season from United Way

United Way partners with industry leader H&R Block to help people easily and accurately file both their federal and state taxes through MyFreeTaxes™. MyFreeTaxes is mobile optimized, so anyone can access MyFreeTaxes.com from their computer, tablet or smartphone. Most filers complete their taxes in less than an hour.

In preparation for the tax season, here are some key tips to consider:

Don’t pay to file your taxes. If your household earned $66,000 or less in 2017, you can file both your federal and state returns for free using MyFreeTaxes.com. This is the only free, online, national tax filing product offered by a nonprofit, and United Way has made it available to over 100 million U.S. taxpayers because our mission is to fight for the financial stability of every person in every community.

“Free” doesn’t always mean free. Some “free” tax prep products only cover federal (not state) filing, or charge extra for anything beyond the most basic forms. But MyFreeTaxes is completely free for individuals and families who earned less than $66,000 in 2017 — whether you file in multiple states, work freelance or a side gig, or earn investment income.

Let the experts handle the details. MyFreeTaxes is powered by H&R Block’s Premium software, so filing is easy, secure, and guaranteed to be 100 percent accurate. The software scans for any tax credit you’re entitled to, so you’ll get your maximum refund. If you have questions along the way, IRS-certified specialists are ready to solve any tax conundrum in real time.

Almost a million people nationwide have used MyFreeTaxes, bringing over $1 billion of refunds back to our local communities. United Way of Lake County is committed to ensuring that people all over Lake County can easily and accurately file their taxes to receive the refunds and credits they deserve.

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Better Together

Better Together: From the Teacher’s Perspective

To share another glimpse into our Better Together Program, we asked the program’s master teacher, Sharon Lichtenstein, to reflect on the Fall 2017 session. Sharon discussed the impact of the program on the children and families involved and shared some exciting new elements being added to the program for 2018.

Every year there is a Fall and Spring session held at Green Bay Early Childhood Center in North Chicago. The Spring 2018 session begins on February 22 and runs until May 31.

Read the full interview with Sharon by clicking the button below.

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About the author

Jurelle Manalansan

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